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Fish Tank 2009

NR CC
4.2 out of 5 stars (70) IMDb 7.3/10

FISH TANK is an emotional coming-of-age story. Fifteen-year-old Mia is in a constant state of war with her family and the world, without any creative outlet for her considerable energies save a secret love of hip-hop dance.

Starring:
Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender
Runtime:
2 hours, 2 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Andrea Arnold
Starring Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender
Supporting actors Kierston Wareing, Rebecca Griffiths, Harry Treadaway, Sydney Mary Nash, Carrie-Ann Savill, Toyin Ogidi, Grant Wild, Sarah Bayes, Charlotte Collins, Kirsty Smith, Chelsea Chase, Brooke Hobby, Jason Maza, Alan Francis, Ben Francis, Jack Gordon, Syrus, Michael Prior
Studio IFC Films
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Tilbury Town railroad station, Tilbury, Essex, England - a common event unfolds on the train platform. A young woman is arguing with her boyfriend. But what seems like a natural occurrence to the naked eye is a turning point in nineteen-year-old Katie Jarvis's life, as an Oscar®-winning director, Andrea Arnold, was watching the argument unfold from across the train platform. And thus begins the story of Fish Tank, a gritty and gripping 2009 drama, set in England, directed by Andrea Arnold. Katie Jarvis, the volatile and angry girlfriend on the platform, stars as Mia Williams, a fifteen-year-old binge drinking high-school dropout, living in a small tenement with her single mother Joanne, played by the British Independent Film Award nominee Kierston Waering, and her younger sister Tyler, played by Rebecca Griffiths. Mia is an expelled student, a volatile adolescent, and a passionate street dancer. After a day of picking fights with fellow street-dancing females, illegally purchasing alcohol from street dealers, avoiding a conference with a secondary school representative and trying to rescue a white horse from a seemingly abandoned lot, the teenager returns home to find that her mother has brought home a young man, Connor, played by Hunger's Michael Fassbender. Connor is a seemingly nice man, who takes Mia, Joanne and Tyler on a family drive to go fishing at a secluded pond. But Connor is sheltered beneath a shell that hides the man's true colors, as his eyes are not focused on Mia's drinking, smoking, abusive mother - they are focused on Mia.

The style in which Fish Tank is filmed resembles that of Christian Mungiu's 4 luni, 3 sãptãmâni ºi 2 zile (known in English by 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days), in that what is being filmed is almost a documentary.
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Format: DVD
In many ways, I expected to like Andrea Arnold's "Fish Tank"--another working class British drama exploring a disaffected and rebellious teen. But the film rather exceeded my expectations in all ways. It can be an incredibly hard edged presentation but it is also surprisingly hopeful--and this balance is impeccably wrought. Front and center is lead Katie Jarvis and the picture sinks or swims on your investment in this young, tough, unpleasant, wild, and lawless creation. You might instantly be turned off by the in-you-face Jarvis, but "Fish Tank" is deftly able to peel away her hardened exterior to reveal the tortured soul yearning for love and acceptance. Don't be mistaken, however, that this is going to be a heart warming story of redemption once you see some softer shadings. No, this incredibly real story maintains an integrity throughout and doesn't attempt to provide quick psychological or sociological answers leading to happily ever after.

Jarvis, as I said, takes center stage throughout. Independent and confrontational, Jarvis lives with her mother and younger sister. As you might expect, there is a constant battle at home where her mother seeks refuge in alcohol and attempts to relieve her loneliness through random sexual encounters. The bulk of the story begins when momma's new beau (Michael Fassbender) enters the picture. Initially wary of the sexy new stranger, Jarvis becomes increasingly intrigued as he seems to be more than a one night stand. Alternately hostile and accepting, it is supremely difficult for her to let her guard down. But her racing and conflicted emotions propel her closer to Fassbender. It is an astute portrayal (perhaps one of the better representations of warring emotions of late) that has Jarvis infatuated with her mom's suitor.
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Format: Blu-ray
15-year-old Mia (Katie Jarvis) lives on an "estate" on the outskirts of London. If estate sounds fancy, it actually is the British equivalent of the projects. A tall, drab, run-down apartment building. She lives there with her mother Joanne and younger sister Tyler. Skinny and carrying some heavy acne, Mia spends her days wandering around the neighborhood and sneaking into an empty apartment so she can listen to music and work on her dancing. She's moody, foul-mouthed to the extreme, and deeply misses a kind presence in her life. Her mom makes no secret of the fact that her two children are nothing but a bother and interference in her social life. Mia apparently has no interest in school and quite frankly, doesn't seem to have much to offer the world.

This is the basic set up for the much -praised film from up-and-coming filmmaker Andrea Arnold. Shot in a hand-held style on a shoe-string budget, FISH TANK is interested in exploring the life (and inner-life) of this one specific teenager. She comes from poverty and neglect. She's not experienced much affection in her life. She's angry but also has impulses that draw her to beauty, whether towards a horse kept in a nearby deserted lot or for the simple pleasures of a drive into the country. Our initial reaction to Mia, whom we meet as the camera follows her wandering around the estate (Arnold spends A LOT of time literally following the jogging-suit-wearing Mia as she walks around), is not positive. "What a horrible brat!" is the first reaction, followed by a feeling that this young lady is a hopeless waste of anyone's time and energy.

Then her mother meets a guy, Connor (Michael Fassbender). Connor is handsome, charming, has a decent job and makes mom happy, which makes mom nicer.
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